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IBM Delivers Free Technical Resources to Help Insurance Companies Better Manage ACORD XML Standards


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ARMONK, NY - 23 May 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced free technical resources to help insurance companies better access, integrate and manage ACORD standards-based XML data across the enterprise. Database administrators and software developers running IBM DB2 9 data server software can now view an interactive demo and download a new DB2 pureXML industry bundle that includes scripts and examples at no charge to begin seamlessly managing both conventional relational data and ACORD XML messages without having to reformat the XML data for consumption outside of the database.

Insurance companies are grappling with siloed business applications that run on multiple platforms from different vendors, each with their own unique data types, interfaces and routing capabilities. Applications that support distinct lines of business such as life, annuities, health, property, casualty, surety, and reinsurance, each store XML data in a proprietary fashion. As a result, developers spend considerable time and resources to break XML data into consumable pieces and store it in relational databases for use in other applications, making application maintenance highly complex, time consuming and costly.

The DB2 pureXML industry bundle addresses these issues and simplifies data integration by enabling database administrators to load XML messages and schemas directly from ACORD and to define XML queries and indexes for business applications. As a result, insurance companies using DB2 9 data server software can increase the availability, speed and versatility of their business information while dramatically reducing administrative costs associated with existing XML data management techniques.

"The DB2 pureXML industry bundle will help the industry rapidly adopt ACORD XML standards and help propel the use of SOA and Web services," said Denise Garth, vice president, Membership and Standards, ACORD. "Insurance companies can now reduce application development and maintenance costs, perform extensive analysis with XML data and drive more value from existing information assets to better serve clients."

For example, insurance companies can now get a single view of disparate XML data stored in personal life policy databases and personal auto policy databases, then analyze the data using analytics tools to uncover trends and make correlations. The information can then be shared as a service with other applications throughout the business.

"Insurance companies are demanding new ways to make business information available across multiple channels," said Arvind Krishna, vice president, IBM data servers. "Working with ACORD, the DB2 pureXML industry bundle can help the industry increase business flexibility, lower operational costs and bring new products to market faster."

Application developers can now download the DB2 pureXML industry bundles and use an interactive demo by visiting the IBM alphaWorks portal: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/purexml. The demo contains Feeds, RESTful services (Web 2.0), XFORMS, and Web Services, and can be accessed through Web browsers, feed readers, XFORMS viewers, custom clients and mashups.

For more information about DB2 pureXML visit the DB2 website at www.ibm.com/software/data/db2/ or the DB2 pureXML Enablement at www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/db2xml/Home.

For more information about IBM insurance solutions, visit: www.ibm.com/insurance.

About ACORD: Based in New York, ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) is a global, nonprofit insurance association whose mission is to facilitate the development and use of standards for the insurance, reinsurance and related financial services industries. With offices in London as well, ACORD accomplishes its mission by remaining an objective, independent advocate for sharing information among diverse platforms. ACORD Standards and services improve efficiency and expand market reach. Affiliated with ACORD are hundreds of insurance and reinsurance companies, and thousands of agents. For additional information, visit ACORD's Web site: www.acord.org

Contact(s) information

Sean Tetpon
IBM Media Relations
914-474-5508
STETPON@US.IBM.COM

Christopher Rubsamen
IBM Media Relations
914-766-1803
RUBSAMEN@US.IBM.COM

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